…After listening compassionately to our concerns, our pastor explained the power of generational sin. He suggested that this might be giving a foothold to the evil one, and factoring into the inner turmoil of our precious boy. He recommended working through a freedom-based curriculum… He then made a further suggestion… Rather than simply seeking to address the brokenness in our son, we could work through the curriculum fully. For ourselves…
The pastor suggested we take some time to pray about our decision…
The time had come. My husband and I were welcomed warmly into the Pastor’s study. The men exchanged pleasantries about the weather and kids. My eyes scan rows of books lined neatly on shelves, then gaze out the window at speeding cars. Looking anywhere but the Pastor’s face.
I know what I need to do, but everything inside me protests.
God had clearly spoken to my heart, telling me that it was time to acknowledge my hurt, to stop pretending everything was fine, and to seek healing for my brokenness. Refusing to follow his leading would be an act of willful disobedience and rebellion.
I had come to a crossroads of sorts. Would I continue to claim that I trusted Christ, but in actuality trust no one but myself? Continue to live in a state of constant hyper vigilance, letting no one close enough to ever hurt me again? Or would I take a step of faith and walk the path he had so clearly shown me?
“So…” begins the Pastor, “Did you give some thought to what we discussed last time?”
A long paused follows as I work up the courage, searching for the words. “Well,” I say quietly, “I’m going to give you my answer, but I have a few things I need to explain.”
I proceed to share how God had spoken clearly to me, telling me that I need to seek freedom for myself. I tell the Pastor how I had dismissed God’s leading, but had sensed him pursuing me relentlessly, yet ever so gently. Prompting me to say ‘yes’ to the things he was asking of me.
“That’s wonderful,” says the Pastor smiling. ”
Actually, no. It’s not,” I object. “I need you to understand that while my answer is ‘yes’, it is purely an act of obedience to a clear direction from a holy God. In no way does this mean that I want to do this.”
“What are you afraid of?” he asks gently.
I look down. Shame floods over me, as if I have been found out already. I can feel my pulse thundering. I am sure that he can hear it too. The fear is thick around me. Dark and consuming. My eyes brim with hot tears as I struggle to find a way to begin.
Words come gushing. I am afraid of so many things…
Judgement. That I will be condemned for the mistakes of my past. That I will be looked upon with disdain.
Pity. That I will come to be defined by the things that happened to me. That others will feel sorry for me. That I will forever be ‘that poor girl’, the one who was abused, defiled, and broken.
Loss of control. That as I open up that place inside, that place so tightly locked, I might fall completely apart.
Further harm. That somehow exposing my vulnerabilities will make me a target. That the information I share might be used against me. To shame. To control. To hurt.
Irrational, I know. After all, I’m not that vulnerable little girl anymore. And yet, I feel at times like I am back in that place. When the nightmares rip me violently from sleep. Tearing open the veil between past and present, forcing me to relive the moments I’ve fought so hard to lock away. The times when I wake up trembling, panicked, gasping for breath. The pain is real and fresh. Not something that happened decades ago, but something that is happening. Now.
There’s no way I can explain this fear that my intellectual self knows is irrational, but my ‘feeling’ self carries anyways. Unless you’ve been there. Then you would understand.
This conversation is surreal. It is so unlike me to open up my hidden self. Something inside screams at me to stop, but I just keep talking. I know I’ve gone too far already. Revealed things that I can never take back. The Pastor knows now. Not the details, to be sure, but he knows. I can tell.
Then he says the kindest thing. He tells me that I am incredibly strong and brave. To be willing to walk this path that I so clearly do not want to travel, simply because I am choosing to listen to my heavenly Father. That takes true courage, the Pastor tells me.
He assures me that he will not judge or pity me. He promises complete confidentiality. He tells me everything will be okay. That we can trust in God’s goodness and love. That Jesus hears the cries of my broken heart, and will walk closely beside me though this dark valley.
17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Psalm 34: 17-18 NLT
We pray. For God’s favor, and for his peace. That he will guide and protect each of us. That he will give us his wisdom, and walk closely beside us. An amazing feeling washes over me. So warm, deep and abundant. I know that this peace is from God, himself. It is so outside my realm of experience. Heavenly.
A taste of what was to come. The promise of his healing touch.
May God richly bless you, dear one, with the manifest presence of his heavenly peace and love.
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